Any time you're talking about big winners, the name of Sebastien Loeb is never far away from the conversation. And the WRC champion's winning streak continued in 2011...
A record breaking eighth World Rally Championship victory in a row was the highlight of Sebastien's 2011 and the victory moves the Frenchman ahead of seven-time champs Michael Schumacher and Valentino Rossi in terms of world championship wins. He won in Mexico for the fifth consecutive year, but had to fight to retain the overall title from challengers Sebastien Ogier and Mikko Hirvonen. Heading into the final race of the season in Wales, Loeb and Hirvonen were separated by just eight points and these stats tell the tale of their seasons.
The big event
So, the showdown for the title was set for the Wales Rally GB in November and it was Loeb who made the best start, overtaking his rival on Stage Three. But Hirvonen fought back and regained the lead by Stage Six before the Finn made an error which to prove costly and caused irrepairable damage to his car. Hirvonen was unable to continue, but Loeb too failed to finish the rally after his car hit a spectator's vehicle in a road stage. Sebastien therefore claimed his eighth world crown by that eight point margin.
Watch how Loeb and Sebastien Ogier handle the Swedish snow in their Citroens in this video.
Best quote of the year
“I moved to the side [of the road] but we are in [Wales] and he is not [Welsh] so he went on the wrong side and we crashed. It was not a big impact but the radiator is holed, so we cannot go on. That’s it. But okay, we are world champion so no problems."
Sebastien creates a dust cloud on his way to victory in the Rally D'Italia Sardegna in May of this year.
A few short weeks later, Loeb is at it again as his car takes off in the Rally Argentina, where he secured another victory.
And in Spain in October, Sebastien secured his final victory of the season at the RACC Rally de Espana.
What’s next in 2012?
An unprecedented ninth world title? Sebastien will be joined at Citroen by Hirvonen for the new WRC season, which kicks off in Monte Carlo on January 17, 2012. The Finn replaces Ogier at Citroen and it will be fascinating to see how the pair work together as team mates.
Want more Loeb?
- WRC 2011: the images of the season
- Official World Rally Championship website wrc.com
- Check out Sebastien's official website